Finding Your Motivation

By : K.E.

As your Mississauga dental team, we strive to provide the right care and motivation so that you are always in a state of optimal oral health. Top notch oral health is a team effort. We stand alongside each other to support and motivate the right type of care in office and at home, but motivation starts with you!

Humans by nature are social beings. In a world filled with social media, smart phones, the internet, television and the radio, it is hard not to find a way to communicate even with a stranger 1000 miles away. Everything is a tap of a screen away, and it’s only continuing to evolve in our technological world.

But with such an upkeep of sociality, how we do identify our own contentment? When Abraham Maslow created the Theory of Human Motivation in 1943, he stated there were five levels of motivation or needs that humans attempt to satisfy. These needs in order are Survival, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Fulfilment.

So how we do satisfy these needs? Survival is our most basic and most important need. This is a need all species strive for. We are in a constant state of survival whether it’s day to day living, or surviving an accident, or even raising three small children on your own on minimum wage. From the moment of conception, we are constantly in this state.

Safety is something we are taught at a very young age and progressively try to master and apply to everything we do. We were told to always look both ways before crossing, or having your seatbelt on when you’re driving.

The three next levels in the Theory of Human Motivation are interesting in that they seem to intertwine the most. Social, Esteem, and Fulfilment- how can being social affect your esteem and in turn, how does it affect your fulfilment? Does this mean in order to have great esteem and feel fulfilled; you have to be a social bird?

In order to understand this, we need to understand that not everyone is the same. One person’s social standpoint can be the complete opposite of someone else. Environment can also greatly influence this. Whether it’s because you grew up in a small town or even recess in the playground of a schoolyard can affect your social needs.

Being social has different definitions amongst different people. Just because one does not open to everyone doesn’t mean they are any less than anyone else. Today’s society has almost dictated that everyone has to share every living moment and that each of those moments have to be extraordinary in order to achieve a mass liking. Social media outlets have become stomping grounds for what is perceived as beauty, therefore increasing the strain on both men and women of what you should and should not look like. This has also broadened the spectrum of online bullying. News outlets reporting children as young as nine years old committing suicide because of bullying is the extent of how social skills can greatly affect not only yourself but others. As great as we’ve come along technologically, it comes with backlash that we as a society still need to work on.

What we can assume is that everyone wants good self esteem. Whether it’s being rewarded for an outstanding job or even accomplishing a goal you had for yourself. Positive feedback, self realization, love, success, these all affect your esteem. That feeling of content and confidence is a need most people strive for. Who wants to feel down about themselves and dwell in negativity?

We then get to the fifth motivation as per Maslow, fulfilment. As humans, we strive to achieve fulfilment in almost all aspects of our lives. Some may find fulfilment in buying a car, a house, or having a child. Some may perceive fulfilment as having a substantial retirement fund. It is achieving what we set out to obtain and it can be something physical or emotional.

So how can we use Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation? In short, there is no one way to do so. Yes, we are all just trying to survive and do so safely. But, embrace your social needs in the way only you can achieve and by no one else’s standards but your own. Feed your esteem with positivity that shines from what you do and bring to this world. Fulfill your dreams and aspirations based on no one’s expectations but yours. Embrace your individuality in a world dominated by social dictations. Find motivation in yourself!

These motivational drives can not only help your wellbeing, but that includes dental health. Dental health can be applied to all five motivations. We need healthy gums and teeth to eat, hence survival. Making sure oral health is optimal provides safety as it is a part of your overall health. We socialize with our mouths; it is the main focal point of conversation. A healthy, beautiful smile also ties into self esteem. Imagine how amazing you feel smiling knowing you look amazing inside and out! And lastly, fulfillment; knowing you are taking the responsibility of great oral health means you are taking care of yourself and leading a healthy lifestyle. Now that’s fulfilling!